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Fundamental Causes Of Growth Essay

892 words - 4 pages

Throughout history, there are many factors that have had an effect on the growth of the economy. Most of these causes have had a very small effect overall and tend to be limited to a small area, so what we want to know is what the fundamental causes of these causes are. There are three basic theories that economic historians use to account for long run growth – geography, culture, and institutions. While all three are important and have had an influence on the economies of the world, I believe that it was institutions that played the most important role in the development and success of the economy of the United States.
Geography is one of the simplest and most logical explanations of what ...view middle of the document...

He argues that:
“By selecting and growing those few species of plants and animals that we can eat…one acre of land can feed many more herders and farmers – typically 10 to 100 times more – than hunter gatherers. That strength of brute numbers was the first of many military advantages that food producing tribes gained over hunter gatherer tribes.” Diamond, 1997.
The second theory used by economic historians to account for long run growth has to do with cultures. The term “culture” is hard to define and has many different meanings to different people, but generally culture defines a set of shared attitudes and values that are common among a specific group. No matter how culture is defined, the primary belief is that cultures create certain specific values and preferences amongst the people of that culture, and that these preferences can influence growth. The culture theory argues that certain cultures, and the culture of the United States in particular, lends itself to economic growth and success due to a variety of factors. The principal difference between the culture of the US and the rest of the world is the diversity of the people, who bring different parts of their original cultures with them and integrate these beliefs into the larger system. This openness helps not only foster invention and creation but also helps to form a government that is open as well. This is in contrast to more closed minded cultures that did not let new ideas be heard as easily and therefore took longer to be...

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